Clara looks outside. She cant help a glance. No sign.
All is quiet in Burgage Square.
Clara says under her breath, ‘Plan. Section. Elevation.’
It must be easy to draw a tree – a line, then a circle or a line then a tall triangle. Easy to draw people, a little round head, triangle coat, two stubby stick legs.
She wonders if there is still a model of this place somewhere. That odd collection of hedges will be sponge oblongs, the water feature a sliver of plastic. Would she be there? There is no one on the hoardings as old as her enjoying their vibrant stylish future, bought in a mixed bag, clip board fantasy, assorted white people. Foilage and people. Plan. Section. Elevation.
Clara blows on her coffee, the steam clouds the glass.
She lived with an architect for a while in Dolphin Square. Alison. Alison still sends Christmas cards, ink drawings of south coast sea fronts, Bath terraces, Oxford colleges. Not a single person. Not even a seagull. It is easy to draw a bird, zip down, zip up, or zip up and down if your bird’s being blown ragged. Every year Clara scours Alison’s card for a person, a living thing, a cat, a dog, a lost handbag, a face at a window. It is easy to draw a face at the window.
Clara draws a square in the air, circles a face inside. Glances at the girl’s window, no sign.
Later she will go out and add a little elevation to the plan. Move through Burgage Square. She walks round her small room, half brandishing her cup, half talking to it, ‘I am an optimist – when they move the station back along the platform towards Leeds, under the golden bridge, we will become a cut through, a pathway of desire, we will get shops, a cafe, we will live out of our homes more, drag in life, we will become the square, the square will become us. I am sure of this, believe me, and I will live to see it.’
… and meet the girl for breakfast. One day.